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    Leposavic Welcomes U.S. NATO Peacekeepers on Liberation Day

    Leposavic Welcomes U.S. NATO Peacekeepers on Liberation Day

    Photo By 1st Lt. Kareem Abiose | KFOR Multi-National Battle Group - East Soldiers from the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry...... read more read more

    LEPOSAVIC, Kosovo – Multi-National Battle Group – East (MNBG-E) Commander Col. Nick Ducich, Alpha Troop Commander Capt. Joseph Leary from the U.S. Army’s 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, and Soldiers from Leary’s 2nd Platoon celebrated the annual Day of Liberation from the Ottoman Empire on Oct. 20 in the Northern Kosovo town of Leposavic.

    This year, the day coincided with Leposavic Municipality Day when Kosovo-Serbian political officials from the region shared speeches, stories and tasted traditional foods.

    Festival participants got the opportunity to speak with farmers, residents and celebrities. Leposavic Mayor Zoran Todic welcomed to the festival the head of Kosovo political party the Serb List, North Mitrovica Mayor Goran Rakic, and U.S. Soldiers from the 3-61 CAV.

    The local people set up their kiosks in front of the town’s cultural center. Some of the items sold were pastries, paintings, and unique offerings, such as treated animal skulls.

    Spc. Michael Restivo was gifted a painting by one of the kiosk owners in appreciation of his visit to the event. Restivo serves as a member of an MNBG-E Liaison Monitoring Team, which engages with the local population to assess community atmospherics. This event was the first time Restivo visited the northern part of Kosovo.

    “You notice a difference in culture up north,” Restivo said.

    The U.S. Soldiers, who provide safety and security to the region as part of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) mission, were invited to the event because locals believe they’ve contributed to improvements in the relationship between KFOR and the Kosovo Serbs in the area. Given Ducich’s background as a second generation Serbian American, he worked to bring local Kosovar-Serbs and KFOR closer together during the current rotation through mutual understanding and communication.

    Following political speeches by local leaders at the Leposavic Cultural Center building, Ducich used the opportunity to meet and greet the local populace. Many participants enjoyed taking photos with the MNBG-E commander who listened to their stories as to what their municipality needs in terms of improvements and investment. Ducich spoke with members of several organizations, including skiers, beekeepers and musicians

    During the event, Ducich and his Soldiers tasted the local food and shared stories with the leaders of Leposavic and others who were present.

    Suzana Foreman is a linguist assigned to Alpha Troop, 2nd Platoon. She also serves as the linguist to the Alpha Troop commander. She said she enjoys her job and that she loves the Soldiers of 2nd Platoon. Suzana has been serving as a linguist for U.S. forces for 10 years. She speaks and writes Albanian and Serbian languages fluently and knows many key figures around Kosovo. She seized the opportunity to take a picture with Col. Ducich.

    “It was an honor to take a picture with Col. Ducich,” she said. “His engagement has improved the relationship between KFOR and the local population.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 10.20.2018
    Date Posted: 10.25.2018 05:16
    Story ID: 297622
    Location: LEPOSAVIC, ZZ

    Web Views: 391
    Downloads: 3
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    Leposavic Welcomes U.S. NATO Peacekeepers on Liberation Day